A RUGBY fan was nearly killed in front of horrified passengers at Newport bus station after his “face was smashed in” by a 17-year-old boy.

Adrian Hayward had just been celebrating Wales’ Six Nations victory over England with friends when he was punched by Mohammed Moftah.

A judge blasted the teenager, now aged 18, for the unprovoked attack which he said “came within an ace of being manslaughter”.


Jenny Yeo, prosecuting, said 'Good Samaritan' Mr Hayward was waiting for a bus home when he went to the aid of a vulnerable adult who was being abused by a gang of youths.

She told Cardiff Crown Court how Moftah came along and knocked him unconscious with a single punch.

Judge Neil Bidder QC locked up the defendant, of Sycamore Avenue, Newport, after he pleaded guilty to wounding on February 23.

He told Moftah: “The victim had taken a responsible attitude towards a group of youths who were tormenting a vulnerable adult and had tried to help them.

“You had come along and had absolutely nothing to do with that incident and in a wholly unprovoked and completely unnecessary action that can only be called malicious, you punched him to the head, knocking him out.

“He fell unconscious to the floor and hit the ground on his face and was unable to use his arms to protect himself.

“He suffered extensive facial injuries - the whole of his face was smashed in.

“The victim was nine days in intensive care and it is a credit to those who treated him and saved his life, because it must have been in danger.

“He has made a remarkable recovery but not a full one. He has some facial disfigurement.”

The judge added: “This was within an ace of being a manslaughter.

“It was, however, a single punch, but you walked off in the most callous manner.”

Judge Bidder said he had to consider new sentencing guidelines for youths which include substantially reduced custodial tariffs for those aged 14-17.

He told Moftah: “You come from an excellent background. You are well-educated and have seven GCSEs. You are studying mechanical engineering at Nash College.”

The judge said he had to impose an immediate custodial sentence and added: “This sort of violence will simply not be tolerated.”

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Mrs Yeo, Mr Hayward said: “I’ve lost a lot of motivation and no longer attend my local gym as I was told to take it easy for some months.

“I was unable to take up a job opportunity with Cardiff council and I suffered significant financial loss in the six months I was recovering.

“I was unable to attend my cousin’s wedding in April and I feel like I am unable to socialise like I used to, because I have to keep my guard up.”

Stuart John, representing Moftah, said there was little he could offer in the form of mitigation.

His lawyer told the judge: “It was, in his own words, deplorable. This young man’s actions can only be described as a moment of madness.”

Moftah was sent to a young offender institution for eight months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge upon his release from custody.